English free digital library launched by the British Council in Saudi Arabia on Monday; in partnership with UNESCO Regional Centre for Quality and Excellence in Education.
This new resource will also provide people in the Kingdom with unlimited access to thousands of entertainment content and academic resources; including some of the best UK movies, books, newspapers and more.
With the beginning of another school term, this online digital library also aims to support English learners and students with free resources that can help improve their language skills; including online study resources, popular eBooks and audiobooks.
Eilidh Kennedy McLean, director, British Council Saudi Arabia said: “We are also delighted to be able to partner with the UNESCO Regional Centre for Quality and Excellence in Education to launch the British Council Digital Library. After a challenging 2020 it is great to start the year with the launch of the Digital Library which includes some of the best online resources in one place.
“The Digital Library allows us to share some of the world’s best literature; information on current affairs; educational and professional development resources; as well as opportunities for cultural engagement.
“The United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have many shared interests, including education and culture. We also hope through this new, fantastic, free resource to share the joys of reading, learning and culture. It also has something for everyone; from Marvel to The Economist, to live music concerts, academic journals and professional development tools.”
Quality and excellence
Also speaking about this new Digital Library was Dr. Abdulrahman Almedaires, the director general of the UNESCO Regional Centre for Quality and Excellence in Education. He said: “Our mission in RCQE is to enhance education quality and excellence in the Arab world through different tools; including knowledge dissemination and supporting regional relevant efforts.
“The launch of this significant and resourceful digital library comes as a result of our continued cooperation and strategic partnership with the British council to enhance and promote education quality.”
Dr. Almedaires highlighted that because we live in an increasingly digital world, there’s a greater need for online electronic books and resources.
He said: “The consequences and implications of COVID-19 pandemic on the world and particularly on education revealed the need for innovative approaches to learning.
“Accordingly, we are very delighted to be a key partner in facilitating access to this free resourceful digital library to provide knowledge as well as skills to all learners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Most importantly, launching this digital library comes in line with the orientation of Saudi Vision 2030 targeting the promotion of knowledge economy”.
In Saudi Arabia, members of the digital library have access to:
- English newspapers: 2,400 full-text newspapers from over 100 countries
- English magazines: 4,000 full-color, digital editions such as Newsweek for instant desktop and mobile reading. Library members can select both new and back issues, adding them to personal reading libraries with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limits to the number of magazines checked out.
- E-Books and Audio Books: Read or listen on the go to over 3,000 titles from all major publishers as well as authors.
- Comics and Graphic Novels: 1500+ comic titles are available to library members of all ages.
- Music: over 1,500 of live moments in music, full-length concerts and music documentaries streamed on-demand to any digital device.
- Independent Films: streaming movie service that offers access to over 7,000 pop culture favorites, box office hits, award-winning feature films, documentaries, and shorts. Library members can also instantly view thousands of titles from around the world, including the best from classic TV, horror, comedy, film festival darlings.
- Theater: The best of British theatre to teachers and students; library members can enjoy more than 600 productions, as well as talks and discussions from leading theatre practitioners.
- Academic Books: 100,000 eBooks in all academic subject areas along with powerful research tools. Subject areas include: Anthropology, Business and Economics; Computers & IT, Education; Engineering & Technology; Fine Arts; History; Language & Literature; Law; Life Sciences; Medicine; Physical Sciences; Psychology; Religion; as well as Social Sciences.
- Software Training: online how-to training on hundreds of common software applications and devices; including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, google Docs as well as IPad.